Arbitraging a Discriminatory Labor Market: Black Workers at the Ford Motor Company, 19181947
The 191847 employee records of the Ford Motor Company provide a rare opportunity to study a firm willing to hire black workers when similar firms would not. The evidence suggests that Ford did profit from discrimination elsewhere, but not by paying blacks less than whites. An apparent "wage-equity constraint" prevailed, resulting in virtually no racial variation in wages inside Ford. An implication was that blacks quit Ford jobs less often than whites, holding working conditions constant. Arbitrage profit came from exploiting this nonwage margin, as Ford placed blacks in hot, dangerous foundry jobs where quit rates were generally high.
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- Sundstrom, William A., 1992. "Last Hired, First Fired? Unemployment and Urban Black Workers During the Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(02), pages 415-429, June.
- Donohue, John J, III & Heckman, James, 1991.
"Continuous versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1603-1643, December.
- John J. Donohue III & James Heckman, 1991. "Continuous Versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks," NBER Working Papers 3894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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